Bobberman
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

Pine needle mulch for my tomatoes!

Lots of people mention pine needles for the garden but I have seen them work the last two years in my friends garden. He has two huge pine trees that are probably 30 years old. They were never trimmed and they was 18 inches of needles and brown compost under each tree. He cut them 6 foot high from the ground and put lots of the pine needsle in his 10 by 10 garden which I helped him with. he had the best peppers and tomatoes i ever saw!
+++ Pine needles give more than one advantage over other garden mulches! They cover the ground and keep the moisture in the soil while even keeping the ground cooler in the summer. They compose slowly and seem to keep the animals and slugs away because of their shapness! They even last several months before completely decomposing! When dug into the soil they airate it for months! The are slightly acid so tomatoe and straberrys love them! When I was in SC. this summer I was suprised that most f themusch around houses was long pine needles which is abundents in the south! and they sale it in bundles there ! Find a nice pine tree and get a wheelbarrow of mulch quick! I will also put some pine needles in the bottom of my seed starting boxes this year with a sprinkle of blood meal on top! They will probably heat my seed boxes up fast like they do in forest fires or those dead christmas trees!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I have tried pine needles, saw dust, mulch, grass clipping, plastic, news paper, card board it all turns out to be more work than to hoe my garden. I go to my garden early about 7 or 8 am about 2 to 3 days a week. I hoe the weeds and grass when they are still young tender plants they hoe down easy. I have learned not to chop at the soil just rake the hoe over the plants it cuts them off extremely easy. I can hoe my 30x35 ft garden in 10 minutes. July it gets hot and dry weeds do not come up anymore so I do not need to hoe the rest of the summer. I only hoe from May to June 2 months.

Grass is the hardest to deal with it will grow right through 8" of pine needles and other things.

Bobberman
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Posts: 2437
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:31 am
Location: Latrobe Pa.

My father use to run his row push plow throgh the rows and had nice plants in his 50 by 50 garden but he planted alot of corn and it took over after several weeks! I have about 5 gardens and most are loaded with grass roots and the more you hoe the worse they get. I really prefer black plastic but the pine needles seem o do all the other things I mentionesbesides slow the weed growth. I am talking prpbably a 1/3 acre total. Once we get a few days rain thse weeds seem to grow twice as fast as the plants I put in! I very seldom hoe. I don't plant is single rows but wide rows and hoeing is not a option in my row beds!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

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Gary350
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

Till your soil every morning so the hot sun can cook the weed and grass roots and kill them. Till every day for at minimum of a1week to bring more roots to the surface. The more you kill before you plant the easier it will be after you plant.

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

That's one way to do it.... It of course kills pretty much everything in the soil, weeds, earthworms, fungi, bacteria, and many other creatures that make up the web of life in your soil. It is really all those living creatures that feed your plants.

You don't have to till to suppress weeds. A good heavy mulch does that and feeds the soil and the life of the soil.
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